Class 10 board exam may be back, no-fail policy could end too

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Aug 20, 2015 16:38 IST
HRD minister Smriti Irani addresses the media during the monsoon session of Parliament (PTI Photo)

The class 10 board examination for students of CBSE schools could again become mandatory after it was made optional under the right to education act a few years ago.

Also, automatic promotion up to class 8 under the UPA-era no-detention policy may get scrapped.

Human resource development minister Smriti Irani on Wednesday said there was “unanimous cry” from every state asking the Centre to revoke the no-fail policy as well as to bring the class X board examination back.

“We have to be cautious in our approach and have requested all states to formally provide their views in writing within 15 days to the HRD ministry which would consider the next steps based on these recommendations,” she said after a meeting with the newly-constituted Central Advisory Board of Education (CABE).

The centre will take into account best practices in different states and issue guidelines on reducing the weight of schools bags, the minister said.

In 2012, a CABE committee headed by then Haryana education minister Geeta Bhukkal recommended scrapping the no-fail policy as it apparently affected “learning outcomes”.

The Centre will take a final call on the two crucial issues after going through feedback from the states on the Bhukkal committee report.

The government will have to amend the RTE act introduced in 2009 to bring back the board exam and do away with the no-detention policy.

The act specifically says the board exam was made optional for all CBSE students and automatic promotion up to class 8 granted to reduce stress levels.

The twin decisions attracted criticism from parents and teachers, who had raised concern on deteriorating learning outcomes among students.

The 2014 annual status of education report by Pratham, an NGO, said every second class 5 student in rural India cannot read texts meant for class 3-level children.

Irani had indicated soon after becoming HRD minister that the decisions under RTE could be overturned as she was flooded with requests from several quarters to do away with both.

A decision on another issue on the CABE agenda, extension of RTE from nursery to class 10, will be taken after a new committee examines the issue, Irani said.

The highest advisory body on education, headed by Irani, decided at its 63rd meeting to form sub-committees with the mandate to engage out-of-school children, improve infrastructure in government schools and improve skilling and technical education.

It was the first meeting after the NDA government came to power.

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